Thursday, November 29, 2007

We Have Arrived In The Bahamas

Alice Town, Bimini, Bahamas
25 43.35'N 79 17.92'W

We're In The Bahamas!

We left Palm Beach at 5pm yesterday and sailed south down the Florida coast for about 50 miles, making great progress in about 15 knots from the East. We had to stay much closer in that we had thought as we were picking up a good 2 knots counter current from the Gulf Steam only a couple of miles off the coast.

That was about as good as it got, because then the wind went SE so we could no longer sail down the coast and we decided to head east and get across the stream while still 15-20 miles north of Bimini. A mistake in retrospect, we ended up motor sailing all night and well into today pushing a lot of current, or getting swept north away from Bimini, as the mood took us. Frustrating but that was all.

We arrived at Bimini very excited just after lunch and followed a new, well buoyed channel into the harbour, with about 5 metres of water under us which was reassuring. The anchorage area was a bit shallow so we promptly gave our keel its first taste of Bahamian sand. We anchored up for a while in the channel but the holding was dreadful so in the end we decided to tie up to a dock so we could sleep peacefully.

Clearing Customs was a breeze, I had to tear the immigration guy away from looking at a fishing net being emptied and then we conducted the whole process to a sound track of Jerry Springer from his TV so almost exactly as I expected. We are now cleared in and unlike the USA don't have to phone customs every time we move the boat somewhere new which will be a nice relief.

Once that was done, the only thing left to do was have a drink in the sun, with our Bahamian courtesy flag flying from the spreaders, and an early night.
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